Brady Bunch “bittersweet” orange kitchen counter tops — from Pionite

bittersweet colorWhen reader Ann told me she had used Pionite laminate in Primary Yellow for her 1965 kitchen Retro Renovation, I jumped on over to Pionite to look at the chip. And golly, Ms. Molly, wouldn’t you know it, but sitting right there in the same row of color chips was: Bittersweet. I didn’t know that any laminate maker still produced Bittersweet.


stangl bittersweet
photo courtesy dixie-too on ebay

I think that Bittersweet is a super classic 1960s and 1970s color. I first learned about it, because we collect Stangl pottery, and one of their patterns is “Bittersweet”. It’s a color that endured many years — more than I guess I knew, as here it is again (or still?) today.

I tend to believe that the kitchen counter tops in the Brady Bunch kitchen were exactly this shade of orange. Here’s short clip from CBS that shows Mike Brady struggling to do women’s work, ugh, in the Brady kitchen:

bittersweet colorReaders, what do you think? Are Bittersweet and Brady Bunch orange one in the same?

Anyway, this Pionite palette of solid colors is pretty darn nice. There are two pages of color options — with lots of off-whites, which are always classic, and with many true retro colors — French blue, Boxwood, Surfin’ USA, Burgundy, Royal Burgundy — and a nice Primary Red.

Orange is my favorite color. It was the first Retro Renovation Color of the Year, in 2011.

I also loved the Brady Bunch, of course. Looks like you can see lots of, or maybe all of, the episodes here.

Oh. Yes. This blog is about decorating. Want your own Brady Bunch orange countertops? Get them, along with other retro solid colors, here: Pionite solid laminate colors — 2 pages

  1. Diane in CO says:

    Believe it or not, I have never seen The Brady Bunch. I think my tv-watching years predated that show! However, I adore Stangl Pottery and I think your collection is outstanding, Pam. When I was a young teen, I was taken to the Stangl Pottery while visiting my jr. high friend who had moved to Flemington NJ. Her Mom took us. The charm of that pottery has always stayed with me.

    I too am partial to orange, perhaps because my mom re-did our kitchen in the ’60’s with this exact shade of laminate countertops. I remember it had a backsplash of copper metal tiles in a harlequin pattern. It was beautiful! In pottery, I have mostly Pacific Pottery and Calif. Pottery in orange and a lot of orange Fraunfelter.

  2. Kelly Wittenauer says:

    Almost year ago, we were living next door while our current home was being built. The HVAC contractor came to the door one morning to get a key. He saw the kitchen in the old house and said “Wow, you have Brady Bunch counters”. I’d watched the show as a child, but couldn’t remember the counters. Utube quickly confirmed he was correct – although ours don’t go up the backsplash, that’s covered with orange & brown 1970s mod wallpaper.

  3. maude says:

    I would encourage everyone to watch the episode of The X Files that was titled “Sunshine Days”…. It takes place inside the brady bunch house and revolves around a man who is obsessed with the show. Very cool episode:)

  4. YNONA says:

    I adore the brady bunch house and am wanting to have the stage house built when I win the lottery or make alot of money. I have a program called “House Beautiful” and am working on trying to make the stage house but the upstairs doesnt co-inside with the downstairs. The boys room is I believe is suppose to be above the family room but it just doesnt work out that way. the upstairs bath room and girls room from what I can tell is suppose to be above the kitchen but from the hallway at the top of the stairs it just isnt working out that way. I dont know if I am just not seeing something or it just doesnt work.

  5. Cassiola says:

    You want Brady Bunch counter tops? you can have mine! house was built in the 80s, dark cabinets, dark linoleum on floor and as backsplash, house is small, the dark colors and orange is too much. I have tried painting the cabinets but can’t find the right hue to counter the countertops. Just what color goes with this? And, I grew up with the bittersweet plants which I always used to love. . . but I hate these countertops. Don’t say use green–that was my ex’s favorite color and I am boycotting it for a few years. . . .

  6. Karen Evanskey says:

    I love love love this, I am all over it! Love the orange, love the Brady’s! I will save for the day we finally do something with out kitchen. We have some retro tile and although I don’t love it, I think I might miss it. It’s something I’ve never seen here. It has a white background with splotches of yellowy green. We painted the kitchen walls a light-ish avocado green (left cabinets white) to give it a little Brady-esque feel. This Bittersweet would look, well, fab to us, hideous to most of our friends! Maybe darker avo cabinets would be groovy with it? And of course a new floor.

  7. TappanTrailerTami says:

    Well…..I do know this color well. My parent’s first house was built in 1953, and they bought it complete with original birch cabinets and gray linen style laminate counters. The whole house was in 1950s gray and pink. My mother had the gray laminate redone in this exact color in 1972. Not sure what she was thinking, really!

  8. Lilypad says:

    The kitchen in the 1969 house I grew up had those orange counter tops. “The Brady Bunch” was one of my favorite shows—this was in th emid 1970’s a few years after it originally aired and we used to watch it every day after school. The bathroom my sister and I shared had an avocado toilet, bath tub, and sink. So groovy!

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